Frank Wetzstein and John Kennelly announced in March 1936 that they would build a new motion picture theater on Mandan's Main Street.
The Palace Theater Company purchased two lots on west Main St then occupied by Conyne Jewelry and the Orange Grocery Store. The buildings were torn down in starting in Aprils 1936 to make way for the Mandan Theatre. The new building included street-site store space on either side of the main entrance for the relocated Conyne Jewelry and the ND Power and Light Company (which would later become part of today's MDU Resources, Inc.)
1936 Architect's Sketch
Facing south, the theatre's ticket office faces the street, with the entrance lobby 14 feet by 40 feet long. The auditorium will be 48 x 80 with a seating capacity of 650 customers. Although the back of the theater was at street level, the floor slopes downward to the stage to ensure full visibility of the main screen from every seat.
Originally opened as the Mandan Theater, it was based on designs from similar theaters in Minneapolis. Construction began on April 1 and it opened in Fall 1936.
It was renovated and became the Showboat Cinema in 1974. The Showboat closed in 1987 and reopened that same year as the Academy Theater, making a short run of it.
The MHSoc's museum and office is located at 411 W Main St, Mandan, ND 58554 Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave message at (701) 751-2983